“We’re running around like crazy people,” said Laura Kim on Friday evening. The weekend leading up to the Met Ball is decidedly not one of rest for most designers, and for Kim and Monse/Oscar de la Renta design partner Fernando Garcia, having two brands means they’re that much busier.
“My schedule on Sunday starts at 9 and ends at 9,” Garcia added, just after stepping off the elevators at the New York Edition hotel, where Farfetch was hosting a dinner with Natalie Massenet and José Neves for a collection of designers in town, including Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha, Prabal Gurung, Paul Andrew and Derek Lam.
The logistics of dressing women in both Monse and Oscar de la Renta provides some challenges for the grand red carpet arrival up the Met steps Monday.
“Oh you’ll see,” Garcia said of their entrance plans. “Oh I didn’t know about this,” Kim responded. “I’m figuring it out as we speak,” he told her.
For last year’s ball, the duo dressed Sarah Jessica Parker in a Monse look that created a stir on social media, leading Parker to respond to commentators on Instagram in defense of her outfit. So is the pressure on for Monday?
“No pressure,” Garcia said. “We’re just happy to have hard-working, supportive girls on our side. And I think we won’t disappoint.”
“I’m dressing three people,” said Rocha, who dressed Chloë Sevigny for last year’s gala. “I work very closely with Comme des Garçons and the Dover Street Market team.” As for her own gala plans? “Oh I’m not going,” she said.
Gurung will be dressing “two to three” women on Monday, and was about “95 percent” done with the dresses on Friday night. “Someone like Rei Kawakubo, who is someone who you have such reverence and respect for, you don’t even try to copy it,” he said of the dresses he created. “But I like the idea of what she represents. I’m excited about it, I really am. She is someone I deeply admire — we all do.”
Aside from final fittings, also on the agenda for the gala countdown are some beauty treatments. “I’m going for a facial — a light facial not a deep one,” Gurung said. “I wish I could lie to you and say I just wake up, but I don’t — and you know what, I love it. I like to enjoy it — it’s one day of the year. I can actually indulge in the full process. I love every bit of it.”
“I’ve only done one dress — its really great,” Kane said. “I remember Rei commenting on the dresses of [one of my] collections, so it’s a reference to the collection. She loved that collection, so we did a little retrospective moment. Obviously, when someone like Rei Kawakubo says something you’re like, ‘OK!’”
He also praised Kawakubo for not being a traditional red carpet designer. “When did the fashion industry become about celebrities?” he said. “It should be about being creative. And the biggest rebels in the industry are her and Miuccia Prada, and for me that’s the mantra I live by: be radical. And if you can’t wear them, that’s OK. It’s all about being beautiful and different.”
As to what he’s wearing Monday? “I don’t know,” he said, before remembering he has a Brioni suit packed for the occasion. “My date’s on fire so it doesn’t matter [what I wear] — I don’t give a …. She’s got legs up to her armpits, and we’re showing them off.”